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Recovering Cavendish says Tour de France fall ‘part of cycling’

British cyclist Mark Cavendish has described the fall that forced him to leave the Tour de France in an ambulance last week “as part of the beauty and brutality of cycling”.

The joint record holder with Eddy Merckx for Tour de France stage wins had been hoping to establish sole ownership of the record by winning a 35th stage, but fell awkwardly on the way to Limoges last Saturday.

The 38-year-old, riding in what was billed as his final Tour de France, said Thursday he had gone under the knife and would be out longer than first expected.

“Yep, fractured right clavicle. Just out of surgery to plate it up,” said the Team Astana sprinter who anticipates being sidelined for several weeks.

“It’ll take a bit longer than the standard couple of weeks for a collarbone, just due to the screws that were in there from a previous injury.” 

Cavendish, who was ashen-faced on impact and who remained on the road rolling in agony before being taken away in an ambulance crying, was clearly in better spirits after the surgery.

“It obviously hasn’t been the ideal way to finish the Tour de France, but that’s part of the beauty and brutality of cycling,” said Cavendish, a fearless cyclist who has suffered his share of hard falls.

“But I’ve felt incredibly lifted thanks to all you beautiful souls living my journey with me,” said the man whose every move is being followed by a Netflix team for a series to be aired in August.

Cavendish burst on to the Tour de France map in 2008 with his first four wins when he was just 23 years old.

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